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August 1, 2011 | by  | in Film |
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The Future

As a fan of director, actor and screenwriter Miranda July’s Me and You and Everyone We Know, I found her follow-up, The Future, disappointing.

The Future is the story of Sophie (Miranda July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater), a couple in their mid- thirties, whose decision to adopt an injured cat triggers crises that consume their relationship, their lives and even time itself. They see their imminent adoption of Paw Paw (the cat) as a symbol of settling down, not just with each other but with their boring lives and dead-end jobs. So, for the thirty days until they retrieve Paw Paw from the shelter, they decide to quit their unsatisfying jobs in order to find fulfilment and happiness through being entirely open to the opportunities that life may present.

The Future is certainly not terrible—I enjoyed elements of it, especially July’s voice work as the cat longing to be loved. However, it is difficult get past the film’s irksome similarities to Me and You and Everyone We Know, be they in tone, dialogue or character. As it is, it becomes difficult to fully engage with The Future as a meaningful film experience when July calls attention to the ways The Future falls short in comparison to her previous film.

As in Me and You, the characters in The Future are earnest and artistic members of the suburban middle class who feel isolated from society and have a deep desire to be fulfilled by the same simple things that work for their neighbours and colleagues. However, July fails to pull off this sense of alienation in a convincing way. It was also hard to take the scenes where time is messed around with seriously when they evoke a poor man’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Miranda July could make another really incredible film if she challenged herself and pursued different avenues, be it through exploring more diverse subject matter or through writing a protagonist that is not just a very slight variation of July herself, acted by herself.

Overall, if you haven’t seen Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Future is probably not the film you should be (and, for that matter, need to be) seeking out.

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